circa 1957
Today
St. Isidore's Catholic Church
Yuba City
( A Brief History)

 

" A parish is a definite community for the Christian faithful established on a stable basis within a particular church; the pastoral care of the parish is entrusted to a pastor as its own shepherd under the authority of the diocesan bishop." (Canon 515)

It is the place where all the faithful can be gathered together for the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist. The parish initiates the Christian people into the ordinary expression of the liturgical life; it gathers them together in this celebration; it teaches Christ's saving doctrine; it practices the charity of the Lord in good works and brotherly love. Catechism of the Catholic Church #2179.


   
Our Pastors
     
Fr. Francisco Gomez
Fr. Miguel Silva
Fr. Matt
Rev. Bernard McElwee
1952-1973
Rev. Joseph Bishop
1973-1997
Rev. Manuel Soria
1997-2005
Rev. Loreto B. Rojas
(Fr. Bong)
2
005-2007
Rev. Francisco Hernandez-Gomez
2007-2011
Rev. Miguel J. Silva-Garcia
2011-2014
Rev. Matthew Blank
2014-Present

The history of St. Isidore Catholic Church, our parish in Yuba City, is a recent one and to fully understand its history one must also look at the regional and cultural influences that are reflected in the parish community. The impact of each piece of historical influence has provided the bits of colored glass that when arranged all together are the reflecting stained glass of St. Isidore's Parish. Many parishioners that are here today were here at its original dedication and they and others have made great contributions to this historical collection of information.

*1849: Gold is found at Sutter's Mill on the American River east of Sacramento. The mill is owned by John Sutter who also has established a trading fort (Sutter's Fort) in Sacramento. He also has a farm where he retreats during the gold rush. His farm is located near present day Yuba City, in Sutter County, which is named after him.
*1849-1853: During the days of the Gold Rush, Catholic priests accompanied pioneer settlers and by 1852 three missionaries were in the area. Catholic services are localized for the burgeoning population in the present day town of Marysville (just across the Feather River and east of Sutter County). On March 20, 1853 St. Joseph's Catholic Church (which had begun under Fr. Peter Magonotta, a member of the Passionist Fathers) was dedicated. Much of the construction of the church was done by Irish and German immigrants who had come to the gold fields.
*1853-1856: There was no real need for a Catholic Church in Yuba City, so no services were offered here. Catholics went to Marysville to attend Mass and most of them settled around the "Hub City" if their children were to attend parochial school. The convent of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur for elementary children and high school girls was founded in 1856 in the city of Marysville (for history buffs check out the survivors of the Donner Party and how the town was named after a survivor of that party). From about 1853 until 1940 only 2 Sunday Masses were offered at St. Joseph's with religious education for rural children held between the services. St. Joseph's served Yuba and Sutter Counties.
*1935-1942: Fr. Bernard McElwee came to the Marysville-Yuba City area January 1, 1935, taking his first assignment after completion of studies at All Hallows College in Ireland. He was assistant to the late Monsignors Patrick Guerin and Thomas E. Horgan, and in 1941 another assistant was added to the two-county parish.
*1943: The first record of Masses being held in Yuba City occurred during the Spring months of 1943 at a ranch warehouse on the Hauss-Steel Ranch on Garden Highway. This became the site for many Catholic Services for local Yuba City and other Sutter County residents. The population of the city at the time is 4,968.
*1950s: Mass is provided for the locals in the present Richland housing area for farmworkers and at local ranch camps where inmates are housed who are brought in to work the crops. Religious education classes are held in the cafeteria of the California Packing Corporation plant in Yuba City.
*1952: November 15, St. Isidore Parish is established and Fr. Bernard McElwee is appointed as Pastor. East and across the Feather River the army base at Camp Beale is being converted to Beale Air Force Base. During W.W.II prisoners of war were held there. The former Italian prisoners' chapel is acquired and transferred to a site on Cooper Avenue in Yuba City, where the present day Cooper Ave. Baptist Church is located.

The Church is Moved
*1953: March 9, the "Gray" property located on and around Clark Avenue is purchased and St. Isidore's Church (the former Italian prisoners' chapel) is moved to this location.
*1955: September, Holy Angels School (now St. Isidore Catholic School) opens and is staffed by Sisters of Notre Dame who commute daily from their convent across the river in Marysville.
*1955: December 24, Christmas Eve - after rain and rising waters the Feather River levee breaks and the church and chapel are in 12 feet of water.

Chapel and School are Flooded
*1958: May, after repairs have been made to the chapel and school the parish builds and furnishes a convent for the nuns.
*1960: June 12, a new church is dedicated and the former chapel becomes the St. Isidore Parish Hall. The Most Reverend Joseph T. McGucken, S.T.D., L.L.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Sacramento, performed the dedication. Many of our young people also received the Sacrament of Confirmation this same day. The church's roof and ceiling are designed similar to the local agricultural buildings and fruit packing sheds of Sutter County. This is especially appropriate since the county's primary industry is agriculture and the church is named after and dedicated to St. Isidore, the Patron Saint of Farmers.
At the dedication Mass the Sacrament of Confirmation was also received by many of our young parishioners. The reception and photographs by parents followed. Parishioner Peggy Steel even filmed her young son at this event. You can view these clips in either Windows Media or Real Player by clicking on one of the pictures below.

Large file, longer download of 3-5 minutes depending on your speed, good quality.

Small file, shorter download of 10 seconds to 2 minutes depending on your speed, minimal quality.

*1963: Spring, the last major construction project is completed, a rectory for the clergy. They now move from the old Cooper Avenue residence onto the parish grounds.

*1997: Fr. Bishop retires as Pastor and Rev. Manuel Soria is appointed Pastor.
*2000-2002: A major campaign is undertaken to build a new parish community hall and to make critical renovations to our church and school facilities.
(Link to
: Parish Hall Construction)
*2003: The new parish community hall is completed and Bishop Weigand conducts a Parish Jubilee Mass on May 26 followed by a formal dedication of the new hall.
(Link to:
Jubilee and Hall Dedication)
*2004: A beautification project is begun on March 15 to renovate the interior of the church, providing upgrades to the floor, baptismal font, lighting, and acoustics.
(Link to:
Church Beautification Project)

*2005: Rev. Loreto B. Rojas is appointed Pastor of St. Isidore after Fr. Soria leaves on medical leave in May of 2005. Fr. Bong is reassigned to St. James Parish in Davis, California on August 13, 2007.

*2007: Rev. Francisco Hernandez-Gomez is appointed Pastor of St. Isidore, effective September 1, 2007.
*2010: The Old Prish Church, which became the old parish hall, was refurbished and became our new Catechetical Center. It is named the Bishop Quinn Hall and on November 29, 2010 is formally dedicated and blessed by Bishop Emeritus Rev. Francis A. Quinn. (Link to: Dedication)
*2011: Rev. Miguel J. Silva-Garcia is appointed Pastor of St. Isidore, effective July 1, 2011.
You cannot pray at home as at church, where there is a great multitude, where exclamations are cried out to God as from one great heart, and where there is something more: the union of minds, the accord of souls, the bond of charity, the prayers of the priests. - St. John Chrysostom

For more history on St. Isidore Catholic Church in Yuba City please visit one of the links below!

Click on the picture of the church in 1957 to visit a photograph album of various pictures. These are from our archives, some of which we are unable to accurately record the date and/or persons (but it is still fun to visit!).

Fr. McElwee
Remembering Fr. McElwee. A collection of pictures and information. Just click on his picture.
Remembering Fr. Bishop. A collection of pictures and news report from December 2000. Just click on his picture.
Rembering Fr. Soria. A collection of pictures from his Thanksgiving Celebration as he left our parish and additional links to a website movie of his time at St. Isidore Parish. Just click on his picture.
Remembering Fr. Bong. A collection of pictures from his Farewell Reception in 2007, along with addtional links to web pages of his time at St. Isidore Parish. Just click on his picture.
Fr. Francisco Gomez 02
By clicking on Fr. Francisco's picture you can link to his biographical sketch and other links.
Fr. Miguel
By clicking on Fr. Miguel's picture you can link to his biographical sketch and other links.
Fr. Matt
By clicking on Fr. Matt's picture you can link to his biographical sketch and other links.

Click on the directory cover to visit the 1972 St. Isidore Parish Pictorial Directory in PDF format.

Note: These files are provided in "PDF" (universal format). To view them it is necessary to have Acrobat Reader installed in your internet browser. Most browsers include Acrobat Reader. However, if you have an older browser (e.g., Netscape or Explorer 3.0 or lower) then you may need to install Acrobat Reader. You may get a free download of this "plug in" by clicking on the Acrobat Reader icon and downloading the reader

.

Click on the directory cover to visit the 2006-07 St. Isidore Parish Pictorial Directory in PDF format.

Note: These files are provided in "PDF" (universal format). To view them it is necessary to have Acrobat Reader installed in your internet browser. Most browsers include Acrobat Reader. However, if you have an older browser (e.g., Netscape or Explorer 3.0 or lower) then you may need to install Acrobat Reader. You may get a free download of this "plug in" by clicking on the Acrobat Reader icon and downloading the reader

.

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